Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Effects of the Team Competition-Based Ubiquitous Gaming Approach on Students' Interactive Patterns, Collective Efficacy and Awareness of Collaboration and Communication

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Effects of the Team Competition-Based Ubiquitous Gaming Approach on Students' Interactive Patterns, Collective Efficacy and Awareness of Collaboration and Communication

Article excerpt

Introduction

In the past decade, the potential and effectiveness of using handheld devices with emerging facilities such as wireless communication and sensing technologies to support students' learning in authentic contexts has been reported by researchers (Chiang, Yang, & Hwang, 2014; Ozdamli & Uzunboylu, 2015). Via these technologies, students can obtain instant assistance or prompts and access digital materials when learning in related real-world contexts. Such a learning approach has been called context-aware ubiquitous learning (Chen, Chang, & Wang, 2008; Hwang, Tsai, & Yang, 2008). Although the importance of situating students in authentic contexts with support from the learning system has been emphasized, researchers have stated the challenges of learning in such complex learning scenarios consisting of real-world and digital-world contexts and learning resources (Chu, 2014; Kearney, Burden, & Rai, 2015). One of the challenges is the difficulty of having students pay full attention to the ubiquitous learning (u-learning) tasks since there could be many messages or interruptions from the environment they are situated in (Chen, Hwang, & Tsai, 2014). Another challenge is to help students deal with frustrations during the learning process. Thus, it is important to develop a u-learning approach that can encourage students to fully engage in the learning tasks and help them deal with the problems encountered during the learning process (Hsu & Hwang, 2014).

Among various learning support approaches, collaborative learning is considered an effective strategy for assisting students' learning in real-world environments. A well-designed collaborative learning activity can contribute to students' learning effectiveness and encourage them to become active problem solvers (de Laat & Lally, 2003); moreover, collaborative learning activities create more opportunities for individuals to share information, negotiate with peers and make decisions (Curtis & Lawson, 2001). Nevertheless, simply situating students in team-based learning tasks does not necessarily achieve collaboration effects (Gelmini-Hornsby, Ainsworth, & O'Malley, 2011). Researchers have indicated that it is crucial to consider the quality of students' social interactions as well as their engagement when developing collaborative learning activities (Khosa & Volet, 2014; Marcos-Garcia, Martinez-Mones, & Dimitriadis, 2015).

Digital game-based learning (DGBL) is an effective educational approach which is comprised of some enjoyable elements for engaging students in challenging activities (Prensky, 2007). Scholars have pointed out that DGBL, which is regarded as a kind of potential learning approach for promoting students' learning interest and motivation, may provide opportunities for enhancing students' social interactions and engagement in collaborative learning (Ardito, Lanzilotti, Costabile, & Desolda, 2013; Brom et al., 2014; Sung & Hwang, 2013). The awareness of communication, collaboration and collective efficacy are very important to students since it is the basis of fostering communication and collaboration abilities. Therefore, in this study, a team competition-based ubiquitous gaming approach (TCUG) is proposed to engage students in active learning behaviors and collective effective efficacy, as well as improving their awareness of collaboration and communication.

Literature review

Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning, a form of interaction among students, refers to the methodologies designed to engage students in collaboratively solving problems (Eryilmaz et al., 2013; Lai & Hwang, 2014; So & Brush, 2008). Collaborative learning, if appropriately conducted, can not only contribute to students' knowledge sharing and transfer (Noroozi, Teasley, Biemans, Weinberger, & Mulder, 2013), but can also promote their higher order abilities (Chen, Wang, & Lin, 2015). …

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